Today’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems provide new levels of transparency and accountability for operations and performance that are often far more advanced than legacy systems. One function receiving more attention with more modern EHR software systems is charge capture and revenue accountability. Traditional models would call for providers to solely focus on providing patient care, leaving the back-end business office to ensure charges for care provided are correctly captured and recognized. Billing and coding from paper charts, billing forms, and dictation records have long been the norm.
Current EHR systems provide real-time charge capture at the point of care driven by orders, notes, and actual charge selection by the clinician during the documentation process. Providers and department managers now have instantaneous information regarding revenue from their patients, which is shifting charge management expectations from the business office to the point of care. Department heads and clinic managers that were previously expected only to manage patient throughput are now asked to explain changes in revenue volumes and ensure the accuracy of charges for services provided. Charge capture accountability is the process of engaging operations in charge reconciliation to ensure the accuracy and comprehensiveness of charging. A strong charge capture accountability process prevents erroneous charging, missing charges on performed services, and increases the overall financial integrity of the organization.
For some organizations, this shift in accountability is minor as they already have had similar practices and tools in place. For others, however, this can be significant, distressing, and disruptive. Many organizations will establish a group of representatives from the various cost centers and clinics to be “charge champions” upon implementation of the new EHR system. These individuals are provided with the system tool and training so they can be held accountable for monitoring revenue and financial performance for their respective areas. Here are some tips on establishing a successful program for charge capture and revenue accountability.
Much of the success of your charge champion program will be driven by the culture and system tools. But if the right people are called upon to participate, senior leadership is supportive, and expectations are clear. There should be no reason to expect anything less than complete success with your implementation, stabilization of revenue, and ongoing review and monitoring. If you are interested in learning more about how Optimum Healthcare IT can assist you with programs like this, please click here.